Easy Carrot Casserole- $2.86 recipe/ $0.47 serving

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This quick casserole is savory and light, the recipe makes 6 very large servings- but you could easily turn it into 8 small side dishes instead. I’m eating a big piece for lunch today with a side of spaghetti squash. Delicious!

Ingredients

2.5 lbs. carrots ($1.50)

4 stalks celery ($0.30

1 can chickpeas ($0.33)

1 can green beans ($0.33)

1/2 tsp. sage ($0.03)

1/2 tsp. arabic 7 spice ($0.05)

1/2 tsp. onion powder ($0.03)

1 tbsp. olive oil ($0.16)

1/4 cup bread crumbs ($0.13)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling. 

2. While water is warming, peel and roughly chop your carrots. Toss them in the water immediately. 

3. Boil carrots until they are easily sliced with a spoon. As they cook, you can slice your celery and get your other ingredients ready. 

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4. When the carrots are just about done, put spices, olive oil, celery, 1 tbsp water, and green beans into a skillet. Saute over high heat for about 10 minutes. Then turn off heat and set aside.  

5. Strain your carrots, and then put them back in the original pot you cooked them in. 

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6. Add in your chickpeas. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender, add in about 1/3 cup water. The mixture should be smooth but still a thick consistency. 

7. Add celery and green bean mixture to carrots, combine throughly. Pour the fully combined carrot mixture into the casserole dish of your choice. 

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8. I pressed down the top of mine with a spatula to smooth it out. 

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9. Then lightly sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 30 minutes. 

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It holds together very well, although I did destroy the first corner I scooped out (it was still delicious). I don’t think carrot casseroles are very common, but I don’t know why. I buy carrots in 5 lb. bags each week ($3) which means I’m always looking for new ways to use them- this does not disappoint, it’s surprisingly delicious.

Carrot Bisque with Country Style Dumplings

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Pillowy herb dumplings and fragrant carrot broth are the perfect remedy to a freezing cold walk home from the train. Country style vegan dumplings like these are easy enough to make on a whim, you could easily use them in any number of stocks. I think that next I’ll try them with a tomato based broth and Italian herbs.

Ingredients

(for the soup)

8 cups vegetable stock

6 large carrots

4 large leeks

olive oil

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 pinch ground cloves

(for the dumplings)

2 cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 1/4 cup boiling water

2 tbsp. non-dairy butter

1 tsp. sage

1 tsp. dill

1 tsp. basil

1. Halve and slice your leeks. I only use the end, of the leeks- once the green color deepens it becomes tougher, I only use the white and light green part. Dice your garlic, and peel and chop your carrots. 

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2. Saute garlic and leeks in some olive oil. I do this in the pot I will be making the soup in. Saute for high uncovered for 5 minutes. Then saute over low heat, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.  

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3. Add vegetable stock, and carrots to pot. Cook over high heat, uncovered for 15 minutes. Lower heat slightly and cover, let cook for an additional 30 minutes. 

4Add in onion powder, oregano, and cloves. Let soup cool for a bit and use an immersion blender to puree. Be careful if the soup is hot, it could easily splash. Puree evenly and completely, so that the carrot stock becomes perfectly smooth and creamy. 

5. Keep soup on low heat uncovered as you make your dumpling dough.

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6. Sift flour into large mixing bowl. Add in baking powder, salt, sugar, sage, dill, basil, boiling water, and non-dairy butter. Your dough will get nice and elastic, and that’s when it’s time to cook your dumplings. 

7. Turn the heat up on your soup pot, make sure it is strongly simmering. Spoonful by spoonful, take lumps of the dough and drop it into the carrot soup. I allow a few seconds between each dumpling, it gives them a moment to solidify before you drop in the next pocket of dough. Simmer for about an additional 10 minutes, and serve. 

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Look at these perfect warm pockets of dough.

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Broccoli Carrot Cream Soup- $3.98 recipe/ $0.40 serving

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Once the temperature drops I have soup on the brain. The flavors in this soup are fresh and delicate, and the creaminess is achieved without the aid of dairy. By utilizing high temperature during cooking, and the addition of almond milk and golden potatoes, you can achieve a vibrant thick stock. I used an immersion blender during the last part of the recipe, but you could also cool the soup slightly and then puree it in portions in a food processor. I should mention that this is also delicious when loaded onto a piece of garlic bread.

Ingredients

2 heads broccoli ($1.50)

2 large carrots ($0.64)

2 golden potatoes ($0.38)

3 stalks celery ($0.15)

5 cloves garlic ($0.36)

3 cups vegetable stock ($0.05)

1 cup almond milk ($0.75)

olive oil ($0.15)

1. First chop garlic and celery. Saute them in your soup pot with enough olive oil to cover the surface. 

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2. Once the celery has turned an even more vibrant shade of green, deglaze with water/vegetable stock (throw bouillon in now, if that’s what you’re using).

3. Peel and chop your potatoes and add them to the pot.

4. Turn heat to high and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

5. While your stock is simmering away, wash and chop your broccoli florets. Peel and chop your carrots now as well.

6. Now you can add the broccoli and almond milk to the pot. Cook on high for another 10 minutes, gradually breaking apart the broccoli with a wooden spoon (it should be tender, it will fall apart easily). 

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7. Once the broccoli has cooked for 10 minutes, use your immersion blender to puree the mixture. You may want to turn the heat down for this part because it may splatter a bit. 

8. Now add in the carrots, cover with the heat on medium for another 10 minutes. 

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Now uncover, and serve up your delicious green soup! The carrots should be beautifully tender and the stock creamy, with a bit of texture from the florets.

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Broccoli Leek Bake- $6.34 recipe/ $0.42 serving

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This casserole is great as an entree, or as a holiday side dish. The pureed broccoli topping is rich and savory, and the tender carrots and potato at the bottom are just perfect. It started raining as I wheeled these groceries home from the store, but within minutes my apartment was filled with the incredible smell of roasting carrots and simmering leeks, which made it worth it.

Ingredients

3 small leeks ($1.29)

3 white potatoes ($0.68)

1 head broccoli ($0.75)

2 large carrots ($0.37)

4 cloves garlic ($0.12)

2 plum tomates ($0.48)

1 cup pecans ($1.25)

1.5 cups crushed tomatoes ($1.12)

2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil ($0.18)

olive oil ($0.10)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Wash and scallop potatoes and carrots. Scallop the carrots at an angle so that each slice is elongated. 

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3. Grease your casserole pan with olive oil. Layer in first the potato (overlapping each slice) and then the carrots. 

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4. Cover with crushed tomatoes and bake for 45 minutes. 

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5. Saute leeks and garlic in oil until tender, when they are done set them aside.

6. Chop broccoli florets and puree in a food processor along with pecans, fresh basil, and olive oil. 

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7. Layer leeks, and then broccoli pecan mixture on top of casserole. Bake for 10 minutes. 

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8. Slice your tomatoes and layer them on top of the broccoli mixture, press them into the mixture using moderate pressure. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and place back in oven for 15 minutes. 

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Enjoy!

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